The Synagogue of Híjar and the Jewish Heritage in Aragón at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

The End of Iberian Jewry and The Beginnings of a Sephardi Diaspora: Through the Eyes of Women” organized by the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI) took place on February 22, 2021 as part of their programs of scholarly events and public engagement.

In words of Dr. Dalia Wassner, Director, HBI Project on Latin American Jewish & Gender Studies, the facilitated discussion between Edith Scott Saavedra, author of The Lamps of Albarracín (2019), and Spanish historians Lucía Conte Aguilar and Miguel Angel Motis was of a tremendous salience, reaching out an audience of over 700 participants from all over the world.

Panelists built a journey through the Aragonese Jewish heritage: from architectural remains and historical documents to archaeological evidence and artistic works, showing how this heritage inspired both fiction and academic works. The presentation proposed an all-encompassing approach to the memory of the Aragonese Jew, where the project for the recovery of the synagogue and Jewish quarter of Híjar was featured, as well.

An important outcome of the event was to express a need to place Jewish heritage from Aragon (and from other relatively unexplored areas) in the international spotlight, in order to enrich the understanding of Jewish heritage in Spain with diverse perspectives beyond the mainstream sites and topics.The message connects very well with the Moreshet aim to connect regions, towns and cities, articulating broader and glo-cal networks who work for European Jewish Heritage.